|Disputing credit card fees and assessments
Credit card companies can be cutthroat about fees,
whether charged for late payments, annual renewal of a card or a
variety of other account related transactions.
Many companies even specify to the hour when a payment
must be received in order to avoid late charges: "Payment must be
received before 1 p.m. on the 12th of the month."
But just because one of these charges shows up on
your account statement doesn't mean it's correct. If your credit
card company hits with a one-time charge or slaps a higher interest
rate on your account because it says you were a tardy paying, don't
automatically pay up. If you believe you haven't violated the terms
of your credit card agreement, fight it.
The first step is to let your card issuer know that
you think it's made a mistake. Stick to the facts and keep a written
record of company representatives to whom you speak and what you
believe was agreed upon.
The form letter below disputes a late-payment charge,
but you also can use it to contest other fees or a surprise hike
in your account's interest rate. Be sure to send it to the correct
address; the office that deals with fees might not the same one
to which you send your monthly payment. Check the back of your statement
for the appropriate address to direct your inquiry.
Personalize the letter by entering your specifics
in the areas in red. You can print
out this Web page and make your changes by hand or copy the body
of the letter and paste it into a document where you can make your
changes on your PC.
Credit Card Company Name
City, State and ZIP Code
Re: Late charge on card name
Dear Sir or Madam:
I was charged a late fee of dollar amount on my last
bill for the above-referenced account. I believe this late fee is
I received my last bill on date.
It was postmarked date. The bill had
a due date of the number (e.g., 15th)
day of month.
I mailed my payment on date,
which was in plenty of time for your company to receive and process
my payment by your due date of repeat date
shown on bill.
If you have a copy of your canceled
check confirming the date you wrote it, note that here and include
a copy of your timely written and mailed check with this letter.
If you do not have a copy but are expecting it in your next bank
statement, let the card company know that you will provide additional
documentation of your bill payment timeline as soon as you received
As you can see from the timetable above, I exercised
reasonable and responsible judgment in paying my bill. Therefore,
I am writing to ask that the fee be rescinded and the late charges
removed from my bill.
If you have any questions or want to discuss this
further, please contact me by phone at telephone
number or write me at the address below.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Your Typed Name
City, State and ZIP Code
Enclosure: copy of check payment